Winding Up the Week #42

An end of week recap

Winding Up the Week #11This is a weekly post in which I summarize books read, reviewed and currently on my TBR shelf. In addition to a variety of literary titbits, I look ahead to forthcoming features, see what’s on the night-stand and keep readers abreast of various book-related happenings.


I read and reviewed Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen, a tale of love, lust, despondency and queer life in modern Greenland – published by Virago on 1st November. >> BOOK REVIEW: Crimson >>

Look out for my thoughts on Bodily Harm, Margaret Atwood’s 1981 novel, which I’m currently reading for Margaret Atwood Reading Month.

Next up is The Year of Magical Thinking by iconic American writer Joan Didion. This one is for the Nonfiction November reading challenge.

Coming soon is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson for The Classics Club.


* A Fun Factual Challenge *

Nonfiction November has commenced, and I have written my first post on this week’s chosen theme. >> NONFICTION NOVEMBER: Week 1 – My Year in Nonfiction >>

* The Margaret Atwood Shelfie *

Margaret Atwood Reading Month began on the 1st November. For my first Atwood related post I combined this annual celebration of the author’s work with Bibliobeth’s fun Shelfie by Shelfie tag. >> BOOK TAG: Shelfie by Shelfie #2 >>

* Lit Crit Blogflash *

A TRIO OF TOL TALESI’m going to share with you six of my favourite literary posts from around the blogosphere. There are so many talented writers posting high-quality book features and reviews, it was difficult to limit the list to only these few – all of them published over the last week or two:

Yes, Margaret Atwood Has Written Children’s Books – Margaret Atwood “wears various hats”, writes Gretchen Bernet-Ward on Thoughts Become Words. “Being a kidlit fan,” she particularly likes “the quirky nature of her children’s stories.”

The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy – Highly recommended – Emma at Book Around The Corner describes this classic Canadian novel as “a wonderful book about a working-class neighbourhood” in 1940s Montreal.

‘Denial: Holocaust History on Trial’ by Deborah E. Lipstadt – Kirsty, one half of the theliterarysisters, is “still baffled as to how anyone can dispute the horrors of the Holocaust” after reading Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Lipstadt’s 1993 record of the legal case brought against her by the British historian and Holocaust denier, David Irving.

Wise Children by Angela Carter: Book and Theatre Review – Clare of A Little Blog of Books went to see Wise Children at London’s Old Vic theatre – she also picked up a copy of Carter’s final novel from the library. A “life-affirming celebration of theatre and showbusiness” is the way she describes the stage adaption, and the book she says was “stuffed with detail and inspired by an eclectic range of sources.”

Older Brother – Tom Carlisle describes Daniel Mella’s new novel as “fiction at its best” and “a future classic”. Read his review at The Independent Literary Fiction Blog.

Elizabeth Kleinhenz in conversation with Chris Wallace – about Germaine Greer – Sue T from Whispering Gums attended an ANU Meet the Author event in Canberra featuring Christine Wallace in conversation with Elizabeth Kleinhenz. In this fascinating post she gives a detailed account of an “excellent conversation”.

* Irresistible Items *

Umpteen fascinating articles appeared on my bookdar last week. I generally make a point of tweeting my favourite finds, but in case you missed anything, here are a handful of interesting snippets:


Vintage: An editor’s guide to the VINTAGE European Classics series – Discover the classic European novels that shaped our cultural heritage and journey across the continent and through its history with Dutch journalist Geert Mak in this Vintage editor’s guide to the greats.

New Books in German: The Grande Dame of Literary Translation: Anthea Bell at Eighty – When New Books in German celebrated its twentieth birthday in 2016, one of the UK’s “most renowned and prolific translators and cherished long-time members of the NBG editorial committee” celebrated her eightieth. Sadly, Anthea Bell died last month, but the piece is well worth rereading.

The Guardian: This is a great time for writing by women – so why are we still considered second-rate? – Male writers seldom admit to being influenced by female authors. In her Weekend column, Elena Ferrante asks why.

The Bookseller: Faber to bring out previously unpublished Plath short story – Benedicte Page reveals that “Faber is to publish Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom, a previously unpublished short story written by Sylvia Plath as a college assignment in 1952, as part of its Faber Stories series celebrating the house’s 90th anniversary.

The London Library: The Books That Made Dracula – The London Library says it has located some of the actual books used by Bram Stoker in researching his novel Dracula.

The New York Times Style Magazine: In Literature, Who Decides When Homage Becomes Theft? – “Appropriation goes both ways, and increasingly it’s being seen as a creative freedom for writers who have been excluded from the literary canon”, writes Ligaya Mishan.

Melville House: Reading groups are more important than you think: they’re radical – Michael Seidlinger believes book groups are “safe spaces where big ideas still get a chance to shine.”

Book Riot: 50 Must-Reads of Slavic Literature – In addition to the Russian classics, Leah Rachel von Essen recommends books from Bosnia, Slovenia, Poland and many other Slavic countries.

Electric Literature: Pulitzer Finalist Luis Urrea Recommends Five Books That Aren’t By Men – The author of The House of Broken Angels chooses his favourite books by women.

Scribe: Notes from a Public Typewriter: Q&A with Michael Gustafson – “Michael Gustafson, co-owner of Literati Bookstore on his public typewriter, the future of bookstores, and his new book Notes from a Public Typewriter.”

CBC: A tiny bookstore had to move — so they formed a 200-person human chain – A human chain of 200 people moved October Books, a store in Southampton, to its new home.

BBC News: Judge’s copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover fetches £56K at auction – The original copy of D.H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover owned by the presiding judge of the famed obscenity trial of 1960 has been sold at auction in London.

Book Patrol: Time to Pick the Oddest Book Title of the Year – Michael Lieberman reveals the finalists in the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year 2018. Titles include Joy of Boiling Water and Jesus on Gardening.

BuzzFeed: 14 Illustrations That’ll Make All Book Lovers Laugh – Farrah Penn collects an assortment of cartoons depicting the amusing realities of being a reader.

Literary Hub: Literary Magazines Are Born to Die – Five defunct journals Nick Ripatrazone says we should not forget.

World Literature Today: 2018 ALTA National Translation Award Winners – The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) has named its 2018 National Translation Award winners.

The Paris Review: The Scent of a Novel – “Is it possible to make a synesthetic translation from the reading experience into an expensive vial of perfume?” asks Julia Berick.

The New York Times: Tiny Books Fit in One Hand. Will They Change the Way We Read? – Penguin Random House’s Dutton imprint has released its first batch of miniature books the size of a mobile phone.

Passa Porta: 300 years of Robinson Crusoe, or the colonist revisited – “Next spring will mark the 300th anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe” writes Delaney Nolan. “A birthday that raises questions about (de)colonisation and migration, nature versus culture, the power of the word etc.”



If there is something you would particularly like to see on Winding Up the Week or if you have any suggestions, questions or comments for Book Jotter in general, please drop me a line or comment below. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I wish you a week bountiful in books and rich in reading.

NB In this feature, ‘winding up’ refers to the act of concluding something and should not be confused with the British expression: ‘wind-up’ – an age-old pastime of ‘winding-up’ friends and family by teasing or playing pranks on them. If you would like to know more about this expression, there’s an excellent description on Urban Dictionary.

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31 replies

  1. Lots of great links to explore as ever. I was pleased to see Clare’s Wise Chidren post – I booked tickets to see it in Bristol in February.

  2. A lovely selection of links, thanks, I’ve just now looked at the Dracula item and your friend’s post about Atwood’s children’s books, but I’ll save the Guardian piece till I read it in today’s print version.

  3. Look forward to whichever RLS title you read! 🙂

  4. I didn’t know about the Margaret Atwood month. I am going to check out the post and see if I can fit in another Atwood into schedule. As usual lots of interesting links, I am gonna visit them right away.

  5. It always amazes me that you can find and read so many articles in a week and still have time to read books! Enjoy Treasure Island – I revisited it through an audiobook recently and realised I’d forgotten just how much fun it is.

  6. I loved learning all about Anthea Bell this week – I just wish I’d known about her work much earlier.

  7. I love this series Paula… As I think I’ve said before I wish I could squeeze the time to do if myself, but it woukd take too much time to do it as well as you do.

    First thanks a lot for the link. I feel honoured I’m so glad you thought the post worthwhile.

    Secondly, I will look out for your Bodily harm post because I’m pretty sure that was my first Atwood. And unusual for me because it was crime. (If it wasn’t my first it was my second)

    Thirdly, I wish I could commit to non fiction November. Last year I think I did one or two posts during the month. I might do that again. However I applaud your Didion choice. A great, memorable read.

    Finally, though there’s much more to comment on, I’m now going off to read that reading group article!

  8. As usual, so many good things! I, too, loved Gabrielle Roy’s The Tin Flute. And I am woefully underread in Slavic literature. I’m afraid to look and see how underread. (I think I know the answer.) Now off to peek into Margaret Atwood’s children’s books (thanks, again, for your unflagging enthusiasm for MARM!)

  9. I’m hoping to write a post about some of MA’s children’s books!
    And, as BIP says, thanks for all your enthusiasm for our event! 🙂

  10. “Male writers seldom admit to being influenced by female authors.” That is so fascinating and something I’m not sure I’ve noticed before, but somehow not surprised by. Off to read that one now. Thanks as always for rounding up so many great links! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Year of Magical Thinking too.

    • Thank you, Rennie. It’s a pleasure. I keep meaning to mention that the protagonist of my current Atwood book (Bodily Harm) is called Rennie, too. 😊

      • So funny, I’ve actually read that one! One of the very few places I’ve seen my name used so I always remember it! I have to admit it wasn’t one of my favorite Atwood books though. But still exciting for me nonetheless 🙂 I hope it’s a good read for you!

  11. I need to reread Treasure Island. I saw a theatric production fo it in the summer, so this is a reminder of something I wanted to do.

  12. Another delightfully informative post, Paula. And thank you, I am honoured to have my “A Trio of Tolerable Tales” book review included 🙂

  13. Was interested in the New York Times article on “Tiny Books Fit in One Hand. Will They Change the Way We Read?” launch from Penguin Random House. I recall a miniature books attempt about six years ago to stem the e-book tide. It didn’t trend and faded away virtually unnoticed, except by library staff who had to shelve/find them sandwiched between much bigger books.

  14. Great links as always Paula! I thought Year of Magical Thinking was excellent, I hope you’re enjoying it.

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